Press release: SUMERNET researchers at MES 2013

Agus Nugroho By Agus Nugroho - May 19, 2014

The Mekong Environmental Symposium (MES) 2013 on 5-7 March 2013 in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City provides a platform for researchers from the Sustainable Mekong Research Network (SUMERNET) of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) to discuss the Mekong Basin’s socio-economic transformation, urbanization, and the ever-increasing interlinkages among the riparian countries.

Even as emerging economies are being brought centre stage and gaining greater attention in the new development agendas post Rio+20, they are also facing ever more complex socio-ecological challenges. 

This is most evident in the Mekong Region, where the riparian countries of China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam – all at different transitional stages of development and industrialization – are attempting to deal with socio-economic transformation, often-rapid urbanization, impacts of climate change and both the benefits and adverse effects of interlinked economic growth. 

Meanwhile, changes induced by development such as large-scale infrastructure are affecting the region’s highy sensitive ecosystems – in particular, the Mekong River’s flood pulse and aquatic ecologies – and posing tremendous livelihood risks for millions of people. 

For SEI’s researchers from the Sustainable Mekong Research Network (SUMERNET), MES 2013 is an ideal platform to share trans-disciplinary information and their ideas on using scientific knowledge in the realm of public policy making to better address these challenges faced in the Mekong Basin.

To be held on 5-7 March 2013 in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, MES 2013 brings together more than 300 participants including scientists and governmental decision-makers to address these topics crucial to the future of the Mekong Basin ranging across river ecology, environmental monitoring, hydrology, socio-economics, energy, disaster management, and trade. 

Through a selection of original research presentations and panel debates, SUMERNET researchers will deal with topics covering climate change risks, contract farming, conserving biodiversity, payments for forest environmental services, adaptation for people in flood-prone areas, urbanization in hinterlands, reducing greenhouse gases in tourism, and transboundary fish trade.

SEI-SUMERNET will also organise a policy forum a day before the opening of the MES on: Local planning and regional economic development. 

The invited panelists – both practitioners and analysts including local government agencies – will share their perspectives on “Managing change in urbanizing regions”, and “Incentives for more sustainable agriculture and forestry (see SEI press release on the SUMERNET policy forum for more details).

SUMERNET researchers aim to use MES 2013 and the SEI policy forum to further strengthen regional cooperation towards reaching sustainable development goals in the Mekong region. 


InterContinental Asiana Hotel

Corner of Hai Ba Trung Street & Le Duan Boulevard
Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
Tel: +84 8 3520 9999<

The MES 2013 will be organized by the German Aerospace Center, DLR, and the WISDOM Project

For more details about the event, please see: 

SEI welcomes inquiries from the media on SUMERNET work and topics being presented in the MES 2013 and for interviews with panelists and researchers. Please contact Agus Nugroho ( or Rajesh Daniel (email: at the SEI booth during the conference.

You can download the printable version of this Press release here (PDF Format)




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Sustainable Mekong Research Network

Building research for policy towards sustainable development in the Mekong Region

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